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Introducing the Art Museum Unions Index (April 2024)

Recording of the launch presentation of the Art Museum Unions Index

The rise of new union organizing efforts at US art museums over the last few years has advanced and shifted conversations around the value of museum labor. By our count, workers at private nonprofit art museums in the United States have formed 34 new unions since January 2019—more than in all previous years combined. We estimate that over 15,000 museum workers are now covered by a union contract.

As an organization interested in using data to excavate the nuances of organizational equity and change-making, MMF began a new research project to better understand the state of museum unions. This research led to the creation of the Art Museum Unions Index, an interactive archive in progress that documents former and current unions at private nonprofit art museums and will grow to reflect the ever-changing landscape of the museum labor movement.

On April 16, 2024, the research team held a virtual launch event of the Art Museum Unions Index where we walked through the site, shared our key findings, and opened space for feedback about how this resource can evolve to meet the needs of the MMF community.

Click here to view the Art Museum Unions Index.


Liz Levine | MMF’s Publications & Events Manager and former AFSCME staff organizer

Amanda Tobin Ripley | Doctoral candidate at The Ohio State University researching museum equity and former worker-organizer at MASS MoCA, UAW Local 2110